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Tag Archives: Gun violence

Reading James Through an American Lens

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A Reading of James 2: 14-17 with a 21st Century,

United States Gun Violence Hermeneutic:

What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t act on it? Can faith save you? If a brother or sister is a victim in a mass shooting, or has had a child shot to death at school, and one of you says to them, “Our thoughts and prayers are with you,” and you do nothing to oppose the senseless madness of such horrific violence, allowing more madmen to easily acquire weapons of mass destruction, what is the good of that? So faith by itself, if it doesn’t lead to action, is dead.

Sounds Good, But How Many Will Pay the Price?

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Toledo’s  United Missionary Baptist Church held a Sunday evening service in which about 150 people gathered to stand against gun violence.

Among the speakers in the 2-1/2 hour event was Bishop J. Douglas Wiley, founder of The Life Center Baptist Cathedral Church in New Orleans.

Some of the highlights of his hour-long sermon, courtesy of the Toledo Blade:

“Gun violence is the symptom of a nation that has turned its back on God,” he said. “The only place that God matters in America is on our money – in God we trust. We sacrifice our children on the altar of finance and money.”

Bishop Wiley said the United States has not gone all-out against the drug trade because influential people are making too much money. He also said that every time an African-American youth is shot, the EMS companies, hospitals, coroners, funeral homes, and graveyards make a profit.

“Everybody is getting paid,” he said.

Bishop Wiley said there is spiritual warfare going on today, but churches have shirked their responsibility to preach the hard truths.

“Too many people go to church to be cute and look dignified … and there are too many nice preachers telling nice people to be nicer,” he said.

He chided ministers to be bold in confronting sin and immorality, saying, “You’re not preaching until you make somebody mad.”